Herb: Formosan Gum


Latin name: Liquidambar formosana


Synonyms: Liquidambar acerifolia


Family: Hamamelidaceae (Witch-hazel Family)



Medicinal use of Formosan Gum:

The leaves are used in the treatment of cancerous growths. The stem is anodyne, antiphlogistic, astringent, balsamic and haemostatic. The resin from the stems is mixed with Rhamnus crenata fruits and used as a suppository for constipation. The stem bark is used in the treatment of fluxes and skin diseases. The fruits are antirheumatic, diuretic and galactogogue. They are used in the treatment of arthritis, lumbago, oedema, oliguria, decreased milk production and skin diseases. The root is used in the treatment of cancerous growths. The resin from the stems is used to treat bleeding boils, carbuncles, toothache and tuberculosis.

Description of the plant:



Plant:
Deciduous
Tree

Height:
12 m
(39 feet)

Flovering:
May

Habitat of the herb:

A very wide range, especially in the warm temperate zones, growing in woodland and in open country. Moist forests at elevations to 2500 metres in the south of its range.

Other uses of Formosan Gum:

An aromatic resin is obtained from the trunk of this tree. It forms in cavities of the bark and is harvested in autumn. It is used medicinally. Wood. Used to make tea chests for higher grade teas.

Propagation of the herb:

Seed - best sown as soon as it is ripe in the autumn in a cold frame. Harvest the seed capsules at the end of October or November, dry in a warm place and extract the seed by shaking the capsule. Stored seed requires 1 - 3 months stratification and sometimes takes 2 years to germinate. Sow it as early in the year as possible. Germination rates are often poor. Prick out the seedlings into individual pots when they are large enough to handle and grow them on in a cold frame or greenhouse for their first winter. Since they resent root disturbance, it is best to plant them out into their permanent positions in early summer of their second year and give them some protection from cold for their first winter outdoors. Cuttings of half-ripe wood, July/August in a frame. Suckers in early spring. Layering in October/November. Takes 12 months.

Cultivation of Formosan Gum:

A very wide range, especially in the warm temperate zones, growing in woodland and in open country. Moist forests at elevations to 2500 metres in the south of its range.

Known hazards of Liquidambar formosana:

None known

Plant information taken from the Plants For A Future.